Department of Education

Professor William Scott

William Scott

Professor Emeritus

1 West North 3.21
Tel: +44 (0) 1225 38 6648


I have blogged for over three years at on matters to do with learning and sustainability.

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Key Literature

Scott WAH & Gough SR (2003) Sustainable development and learning: framing the issues; London: Routledge

Scott WAH & Gough SR (eds.) (2004) Key issues in sustainable development and learning: a critical review; London: Routledge

Gough SR & Scott WAH (2007) Sustainable Development and Higher Education: paradox and possibility; London: Routledge

Reid AD & Scott WAH (Eds.) (2008) Researching Education and the Environment: retrospect and prospect; London: Routledge


I am a recently retired Professor of Education where I was head of its Education and Sustainability research programme, director of the Centre for Research in Education and the Environment, and a deputy-director of the University’s Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Environment.

I was founding editor of the journal Environmental Education Research (1995), was editor of Assessment and Evaluation in Higher Education from 1990 to 2008, and have been a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts for over 30 years. I am a director of the community interest company South West Learning for Sustainability Coalition, and a trustee of the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust and the Forest of Avon Trust. I chaired the UK National Commission for UNESCO’s co-ordinating group for the ESD Decade, was a member of Hefce’s sustainable development steering group, and am a member of the Higher Education Academy’s advisory group on education for sustainable development. I am President of the UK’s National Association of Environmental Education [NAEE].

My research has focused on the role of learning in sustainable development, on the contributions that education (viewed broadly) can make to this, and on the problems of researching the effectiveness of such activities. I have a particular interest in the idea and practice of sustainable educational institutions, and have written extensively about these. In particular, I hope that schools, colleges and universities will take sustainability seriously through what they teach and how the operate as institutions, but not to the extent of disempowering people by telling them how to live their lives and what values to hold.

Research interests

  • The role of learning in sustainable development
  • The contributions that education can make to this
  • The practice of sustainable educational institutions
  • The problems of researching the effectiveness of such activities

Current projects

  • Evaluation of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation's programmes (2010/2014)
  • Advising the Soil Association's Food for Life Programme on evaluation (2011/2013)
  • Member of the UK’s Food Growing in Schools Taskforce (2011/2012)
  • Member of the International Scientific Committee of the Swedish Graduate School in Education and Sustainable Development (2009/2013)
  • International member of the Monash University Education, Environment and Sustainability research group


Read publications by Bill Scott

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